San Francisco 49ers: 10 Young Linchpin Players to Watch over Rest of 2015 Season

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Dec 6, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Shaun Draughn (24) celebrates scoring a touchdown during the first half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Running Back Shaun Draughn

Featured back Carlos Hyde (foot) may not play again this season, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the 49ers shut him down for the remainder of 2015.

Instead, San Francisco’s offense is going to employ plenty of running back Shaun Draughn.

At 24 years old, the 6’0″, 205-pound undrafted free agent from the 2011 season was picked up by the 49ers prior to Week 9 after the offense lost Hyde and running backs Mike Davis (hand) and Reggie Bush (knee).

Draughn has averaged only 3.3 yards per carry with San Francisco but has been a consistent workhorse for the 49ers offense. And he has also emerged as a legitimate pass-catching threat out of the backfield after San Francisco’s 26-20 overtime win over the Chicago Bears in Week 13.

Draughn had five catches for 50 yards during that contest.

With Hyde likely returning to his featured role in 2016, Draughn — signed to a one-year deal through this season — may be a nice change-of-pace back for the 49ers should they re-sign him this offseason.

His remaining efforts will likely determine this.